Being a bride is tireless work.
There’s the decoding of the layers of disappointment in your mom’s reaction to your dress choice, which if you’re lucky ranges from the very optimistic, “if you like it, I like it” to the decidedly dismal, “… interesting.”
Then there’s the epic game of catty chess raging just behind the scenes among your friends in their struggle to plan the bachelorette party, which you have to pretend you aren’t privy to.
The centerpieces, the guest list, the 2nd-string guest list, gifts for the attendants … it’s hard to believe most brides don’t end up hanging themselves from a wad of tulle, foaming at the mouth from all the champagne flights and cake samples.
Prince William's coat of arms
While we’re confident Kate won’t have to deal with many of these common bridal pitfalls, marrying into a royal family does pose its own set of unique challenges.
Our favorite? Choosing a coat of arms.
For loads of us, our most tantalizing brush with elitism tops out at redeeming our Fred Meyer’s rewards rebates. So, let’s explain:
A coat of arms is like a very ornate logo that represents your family or even just yourself. These designs were first used by feudal lords and knights in the mid-12th century. But eventually, coats of arms expanded to other social classes.
Despite a lack of regulation, “heraldry”, as the institution is also called, has remained fairly popular across Europe, where traditions alone have governed the design and use of arms. Some countries such as England and Scotland still have the medieval authorities in place that grant and regulate arms.
But where does this leave Kate? A prerequisite for marrying into the royal family is having a coat of arms. But, Kate has been so busy lately she hasn’t had time to apply for her own.
The process is a tedious one. Kate’s dad, Michael will have to lodge a petition with the College of Arms, which then has to approve the application before a bespoke insignia can be designed.
The entire process usually takes up to eight months, but it might be doable in two weeks, given the special circumstance of the royal wedding. It is also possible for Kate to just wait until after the wedding to apply, like Sophie Wessex did when she married Prince Edward.
Once awarded, the crest can also be used by Kate’s immediate family members.
In case you were wondering, Prince William has had his own coat of arms since his 18th birthday.
According to the Daily Mail:
His insignia uses the Queen and Prince Charles’s arms and contains small red shells around the necks of the lion and the unicorn, a tribute to his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
The shell, which derives from the Spencer arms, was included at Prince William’s insistence. The motif has been borne by the Earl of Spencer since the 16th Century and was a popular symbol for medieval pilgrims. In all, the shell appears four times on William’s arms, the design of which was approved by Prince Charles and the Queen.
Diana already had access to the Spencer coat of arms at the time of her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981. Diana was descended on her father’s side from Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, formerly, Lady Georgiana Spencer. (Fun fact: Georgiana was also something of a fashion icon. You can learn more about her tortured, yet stylish life and times in the 2008 movie, The Dutchess, starring one of our favorite English roses, Keira Knightly.)
Readers, what do you think Kate should include in her coat of arms? A gorgeous peacock to pay tribute to her fancy for fascinators? A regal unicorn sporting a party hat as a nod to the family business, Party Pieces?
Post your suggestions in the comments area below. We will see that Kate receives them posthaste!